Everything we accomplish in our lives begins somewhere. It starts by taking the first step toward accomplishing your goal. Sometimes those goals we seek are small, while other times our plans are larger. This week it was accomplishing something small. It might seem strange, but playing golf for the first time each year can be intimidating. We played some golf in January on vacation. The couple times we played on vacation were in warm weather, under nearly perfect conditions. As winter turns to spring in the northwest, it still remains chilly outside. There becomes questions in my mind about moving my body to make the golf swing. An absence of any activity can seemingly cause uncertainty when reentering into the interest. Cerebral palsy also plays a role in time spent away from any movement. For most of us, our bodies can change over short periods of time. Cerebral palsy seems to cause those changes inside my body. There becomes uncertainty over how CP has caused my body to be different during the time away. Many thoughts enter into mind when not playing any sport for a while. It feels different from working out inside the gym. There seems more coordination involve in playing golf, so my concern revolves around balance, hand-eye coordination, and endurance to play another year. But, as my brother said walking off the first tee, “you gotta start somewhere.”
With most things that cause discomfort in life, fear seems to play some part. We always have the choice of letting our fear hold us back. Sometimes that fear can be overwhelming, while in other situations it might simply be a nagging emotion. For some reason this year, getting back onto the golf course was avoided. There had been some opportunities to go before this week came along. The cold weather seemed to concern me increasingly this year. It seems as the years’ pass, I wonder if playing golf will bring extra struggle. Cerebral palsy continues taking its toll on my body and who knows how it will react from one year to the next. The effort continues to find ways to keep my body in good shape. But, the questions arise over whether one day I’ll find myself on the first tee to begin the golf year and not be able to play. Cerebral palsy could cause stiffness to the point where playing in the cold no longer works. That could be the first domino toward not being able to play golf much at all.
After the first few holes it became apparent my golf game wouldn’t be lost. There was stiffness throughout my body. The cold temperatures of the day had something to do with my tightness. However, cerebral palsy probably played most of the role in that tightness. My age also seems to have started taking some toll on my body. The creaky muscles are resulting from the combination of a few things. My swing was made shorter due to those factors on that day. It seemed appropriate to take my time getting back into the game. So, our round was played with a relaxing pace. There was no reason to keep my score, while getting the feel of golf back. Those first rounds of the year have always been about simply hitting the golf ball. Having not swung the club in months, the key turns out to be making solid contact. The entire day came down to that simple concept. It was about relearning how to make good golf swings. The process of beginning the new year of golf had to start somewhere.
Even though trepidation was part of my emotions walking onto the course, those feelings faded. However, they don’t fully vanish during that first day of play. There were some good swings made during the eighteen holes. The ball seemed to travel slightly further than the previous year. Showing me that working out continues to help my game of golf. The course was pretty dry for an early March day. Again, small things like dryness on the course also make it more comfortable. Upon finishing the round of golf, excitement began filling my emotions. The feeling of accomplishing something that was concerning to begin with. My feelings were also filled with peace and familiarity. Golf has been a game that has provided peace of mind, calm, and satisfaction when having the chance to play. It’s the beginning of seven months where something that fills me up will again be part of my life. I’m thankful we are back into the spring and becoming immersed in another season of golf.
Excitement from the first round of golf, lead us to playing again this week. The sun and warmth during the beginning of the week was enticing. During the second golf venture of the year, things got even better. Standing on the first tee for the second day, trepidation had left my emotional state. Having overcome the emotions of starting play again, focus could shift toward improvement. My thoughts became focused on the game of golf. Gone were any questions over my ability to play golf for another year. The previous time had answered any questions over cerebral palsy playing a part in my golf game after the layoff. My body had reacted well, even the following day. There was some natural soreness from performing movements that hadn’t been performed for a while. But, everything responded well and it was time to truly work on improving my swing. While playing the second round of golf a few days later, my familiarity with the swing returned. I could begin moving my body together, gaining timing, and tempo. It resulted in even better contact with the golf ball. Comfort filled the emotions for the day. Suddenly we were off and running for another year.
We all probably have those things causing apprehension. Maybe it’s thinking about beginning something totally new. Or like golf is for me, it can be getting back into something we took time off from. The hurdle can seem daunting at times. While sometimes the expectations we envision can be too high. If the task can be broken down into smaller steps, it can feel doable. This seems where my brother brought up one of his good points. We just have to start somewhere. Everything we accomplish begins with that simple step of beginning the process. The beauty becomes taking the pressure off our shoulders. As we start working on something with positive reward, we will most likely continue. Whatever task might be causing apprehension in your life, hopefully you just get started. Anything can begin slow to start with, as we take small steps becoming comfortable. With most things, we simply require the time to adjust to doing that thing causing fear. Once those first few steps are taken, we can truly begin finding ways of improving our skills. When we are getting better at something, the fun truly begins.
Disabilities seem to cause discouragement in many of us who battle them. Maybe we can all relate to feeling something that causes disabling emotions. Those challenges inside ourselves can be stifling. They can lead us toward giving into them, thinking trying something new is overwhelming. However, if we take it one step at a time, maybe the task isn’t so daunting. We attempt to begin at any point and build from that starting point. Those activities that bring about trepidation can turn out to be the most rewarding. Even if they are activities we have already accomplished. Going back into those activities can breathe something back into our lives. Golf does all of this in my life. The game gives me a sense of accomplishment for its challenges. Each time I play feels peaceful, with the time spent being challenged and being outside. Hopefully you have found something to bring challenge, peace, and the sense of accomplishment. Just get started somewhere.